IT was the moment the world’s most famous shipwreck was finally located after more than 70 years at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

An international expedition led by Dr Robert Ballard solved the mystery surrounding the position of the Titanic, the luxury liner that sank on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912.

Next Tuesday marks the 30th anniversary of the day the sea surrendered one of its greatest secrets.

Dubbed “unsinkable” because of her double bottom and watertight doors, the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg off Newfoundland.

Previous attempts to find the wreck had been defeated by a combination of bad weather, technical problems and poor search methods.

But Dr Ballard succeeded where others had failed, even though the odds were stacked against him.

To mark the anniversary of the day the wreck was found the Titanic Belfast museum, situated in the city where she was built, has compiled a list of 30 things you never knew about the luxury liner.

  • 1. Titanic’s design was conceived over fine food and a glass of wine. Asked about the potential length of the ship, J. Bruce Ismay, head of the White Star Line, replied: "Build me a stable ship that will not disturb the sediment in these fine wines.”
  • 2. Titanic (271m) was long enough to span three tempestuous Atlantic Ocean wave crests.
  • 3. Due to the size of the Olympic-class ships, of which Titanic was one of three, the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast needed two years to prepare for their construction.
  • 4. At the time, Belfast was the fastest growing city in the British Empire, with the largest shipbuilding firm on the planet.
  • 5. The ship had three wheels for steering.
  • 6. Titanic’s funnels were wide enough to drive a train through.
  • 7. The first class cabins on Titanic were the same standard as hotels, while second class was as good as first class on other ships.
  • 8. The famous staircase, which was among the most luxurious appointments on the ship, was inspired by the staircase at Belfast City Hall, which can still be visited today.
  • 9. Titanic's stock of food and drink included 40,000 eggs and 15,000 bottles of ale.
  • 10. Titanic was launched in 62 seconds on May 31 1911.
  • 11. She now lies 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, nearly two-and-a-half miles (4000m) below sea level overlooking a small canyon below.
  • 12. At Titanic Belfast, visitors can view Dr Ballard’s high definition footage of what Titanic looks like today and can learn more about individual items in the wreckage using interactive pods.
  • 13.Titanic Belfast is built where the Titanic was designed and launched.
  • 14. Visitors can take the award-winning Discovery Tour, which includes the Harland & Wolff drawing offices and slipways.
  • 15. Titanic Belfast is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience.
  • 16. It has welcomed approximately 2.5 million visitors from more than 145 countries.
  • 17. Guests have included David Cameron, the Queen, former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Titanic movie director James Cameron.
  • 18. The museum can hold over 3,547 visitors at any one time, the same number as the capacity of Titanic.
  • 19. Titanic Belfast’s overall shape represents the bow of the ship.
  • 20. The hulls are the same height of Titanic from keel to Boat Deck!
  • 21. About 40,000 tons of concrete were used in Titanic Belfast’s foundations, nearly the same as for Titanic.
  • 22. The museum has recently opened three new galleries that capture the excitement of launch day as well as the ship’s maiden voyage. Visitors can also experience what it was like to work in the Palm Court Café.
  • 23. At Titanic Belfast, guests are now transported on to Titanic’s deck promenade as part of the experience. Guests can walk on deck, look out to sea, hear the ocean, hold onto the railings and feel the ship's engines rumbling as if they were on the liner itself.
  • 24. The last letter ever to be written on board the Titanic by Essex-born Esther Hart and her seven-year-old daughter Eva just eight hours before the ship hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912 is on display. It recently sold at auction for a world record sum of £119,000.
  • 25. A note from the Titanic assistant ship's surgeon Dr John Simpson is also on display.
  • 26. Titanic Belfast is home to the historic plan, commissioned by the Board of Trade for the British inquiry, was designed and prepared by White Star Line architects. It is the second most expensive Titanic artefact in the world.
  • 27. The plaza surrounding Titanic Belfast includes a huge map showing Titanic’s route from Belfast.
  • 28. The wooden benches surrounding the building are spaced out in a way that replicates the Morse code distress signal sent by Titanic.
  • 29. The slipway area includes a life-sized plan of Titanic’s promenade deck showing where the lifeboats, benches and funnels would have been.
  • 30. A nearby memorial garden includes lawns alternating with wooden decking to show how many people from each passenger class lost their lives.